As a kid, I was the designated ghost story teller at slumber parties and wrote stories for my own amusement. I majored in English in college and, like most English majors, imagined , but at the time, I didn’t have the follow through to put daydream into action. I started writing some fan fiction in 2000 and by 2005 I was ready to write something of my own, which I’ve been doing ever since.
Like Clockwork is my first attempt at steampunk. I love historicals so the blend of history with outlandish inventions is an intriguing concept. The story is about the introduction of clockwork employees (ie. robots) into Victorian society and how that impacts the workers, plus it has a serial killer for added drama.
What are some obstacles you’ve had to overcome when writing?
I’m much better at characterization than plotting. I see the broad idea of a story but when it gets down to actually steering my characters, I still struggle withgetting them from point A to B. Dialogue and character interaction is fun. Inventing a suitably dramatic climax and dark moment is simply hard work.
Did you have to do any type of research for your novel?
I researched the London Underground railway system. I needed to know if there could be abandoned tunnels where the dispossessed in my story could live. Turns out the Underground has been around a lot longer than I expected and that there have been abandoned branches over the years. The idea was possible.
Did you have any say when it came to your book cover?
At Carina, as at all my e-publishers, the author fills out a form and can put in any requests or suggestions for what she’d like to see on the cover. You’re putting your work in safe hands, because the art team at Carina always creates fabulous covers.
What’s your favorite book turned TV/movie adaption?
Off the top of my head, and I’m only saying this because I just saw Kristen Chenowith in Glee, which reminded me of Wicked (in which she played Glinda),I’d say Wicked. I know it’s a stage musical not a show but you have to admit it is better than the book which I couldn’t plow through and abandoned halfway. And it’s on topic because the aesthetic of the Wicked stage set is all clockwork cogs and wheels. Very steampunk in sensibility.
What made you decide to write Steampunk?
I’d been reading about it, without yet having read any and I listened to a steampunk panel at the Romantic Times Convention in 2010. There are wide parameters of what’s included under the steampunk umbrella these days. are limitless and I knew I had to give it a try. But I chose not to include any paranormalelements in Like Clockwork. I felt it was enough to explore the idea of how new technology creates issues in a society.
Names are very important to a story, but not always easy to come up with. How did you come up with the names of the characters in your story?
Victoria is my heroine’s name and it came to me simply because the story is set in Victorian times. I gave her the last name “Waters” because the two sounded good together–Victoria Waters. The hero is a street guy, who’s been a thief among other things and he only has a single name–Dash, as in “dash ‘n’ grab”. I have to admit that in general I often just flip through the phone book and pick first and last names for characters.
If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would you most want to meet?
among living authors because he was so important to me during my formative years. Now I don’t read all his works any more but I still greatly admire the way he fleshes out even minor charactersto create acomplex tapestry. He may be about to kill off a person in the next paragraph but he gives you a thumbnail sketch of what that person is about so it means something.
What is your favorite thing to do other then writing?
Watching TV. I get totally immersed in a series, usually after it’s been on a while or has already been cancelled,which is great because then you can watch several seasons’ worth all in a big gulp. Some of my favorites are the HBO and Showtime period dramas like Deadwood, Rome, Carnivale, . But I lovedramas in general–Sons of Anarchy (FX can be counted on for some raw, gritty stuff). But I can as easily get sucked into the lighter, fluffier worlds of shows like Greek or, most recently, . Yes, I’ve finally given Glee a Lights, Justified, try and gobbled up the first season’s episodes in less than a week. It’s cheesy, silly, sometimes hilarious and sometimes touching.
I like Glee too! I also like the period dramas but most aren’t children appropriate so I rarely ever get to watch them
If you could have a super power what would pick?
Teleportation, if that can be considered a super power. I hate driving to get somewhere, despite what people say about the journey being half the fun. I’d rather just get where I’m going and enjoy it. This way I could see relatives who live far away more often. Plus, I’m about to lose one of my daughters to the wilds of L.A. clear across the country and I’d love to be able to pop in on her for a visit any time.
I agree, Teleportation could be very useful! My family lives far away and I would love to just pop in and visit them.
What can we see from you in the future? Is there anything you can tell us about?
Everything I’m working on at the moment is co-authored. Summer Devon and I are finishing another m/m historical and a het contemporary. I’ve started a new collaboration with another author, a young adult series about teen witches. I also have a solo steampunk novel but it’s been stalled at the climax for some time. I need to return to it, push through the barrier and wrap it up. Maybe this is the month for that.